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July 12, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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How to keep your space clean

Yo mama shoulda told you this

The biggest problem we all usually have with our bedroom, kitchen and living areas is that even when they’re spotless, it takes no time at all for them to become a mess so large you just can’t be bothered dealing with it (and are likely to lay blame with everyone else you live with). A lot of people think that they are ‘good’ flatmates, but can’t quite quantify why, or use the (incorrect!) phrase “because I’m never home/don’t use the kitchen/lounge…”. So, for you, my Cleo-inspired “Are you a good flatmate?” Quiz…

When I get home I…
1. Come into the common area and say hello to everyone.
2. Go straight to my room.
3. Put my shoes and jacket (and anything else I won’t need now that I’m home) where I store them, then say hello to anyone in the common area regardless of whether I intend to use that space or not.

When I cook, I…
1. I don’t. Our kitchen is an overfilled scum bucket.
2. Clean all of my cooking stuff and the benchtops before I even eat my meal.
3. Often/occasionally do my flatmates’ dishes at the same time as mine, preferably after I’ve eaten but always before other people need to use the kitchen, because I’m not an anal retentive ass and would prefer to pay it forward.

Number 1, it is just as much your responsibility to make a change on as anyone else’s. Number 2 isn’t correct, unless you have a dishwasher, because you’re more likely to waste time doing two sets of dishes (when cleaning what you just ate off), or not do all of your dishes at all. The more you do for your flatmates when it’s convenient for you, the more likely they’ll do the same when you need it, and the less likely you will be nagged…

In the bathroom, I…
1. Check out the shower floor to see if it’s fuzzy or discoloured, so I can go nuts at whoever should clean it this week.
2. Often shave in the sink, but wouldn’t know where the cloths to clean the sink are. (You suck. How would you feel about dealing with someone else’s hairs when you wash your hands? Not even knowing which part of the body they came from? Gross. Get a cloth stashed behind the sink so you can always wipe it down, filthwizard.)
3. Give the bathroom a once over every now and then—it’s easy to clean while waiting for my shaving cream/face mask to be done, and I scam an extra ten minutes in the shower by cleaning it while in there.

Yes, the answer is 3. If you care enough to check the state of the shower floor, odds are that it’s more you that got it that way anyway.

When I’m done with my books/papers/jerseys/clothes I…
1. Put it in an easy place to deal with later.
2. Will deal with it after this other important thing.
3. Put it away because I know that otherwise I’ll have to do a big tidy up later, and having to go back to it will take about three times the amount of time and really piss off everyone else over time.

Don’t be a douchebag. Make your life easier by keeping it tidier and everyone will love ya. Welcome back to uni folks.


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